Hashkama 22nd December 2018 – The Christmas Bash

At one time Christmas wasn’t a problem.  Now when you sit down to write your cards, going through the list you try to remember who does and who does not celebrate Christmas.  That is just the list of Christians, let alone Jewish friends and non-religious friends.

Christmas bashing is something of a habit in the UK.  Its popularity rises and falls with some regularity.  The secular world loves the season, but does not love the reason for the season.  Once again Christmas is under attack, this time from Christians.  The blame for celebrating Christmas is placed on Charles Dickens and Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert.  German influence is blamed and paganism, and more besides.  The Bible is quoted, Isaiah and Jeremiah, where in idol worship, some wayward pagan activity and practice was to put silver and gold on trees, (real silver and real gold); the adherents would bow down and worship what they had made with their own hands, which was now their god.  Jesus birthday wasn’t celebrated in the Bible the “leavers” say.  I wonder, did someone forget to tell the angels, shepherds, and the star-gazing guys from the East that eventually showed up, that they shouldn’t be making a fuss?  “God never told us to remember Jesus’ birth, only His death”, is another reason for ditching Christmas, and “Jesus wasn’t born in December anyway”.  God never told the Jews to celebrate Purim or Hanukkah but they do it anyway; and they have a jolly good family time doing so.  Though these festivals are not on the scale of Christmas, I imagine someone profits commercially and financially, selling goods, food, presents etc.  You see the religious Jew, the atheist and non-religious among the Jews all celebrating these festivals with great gusto, even though God never told them to.  I was in Israel during Purim one year.  We were staying in Jerusalem and arranged with friends from Galilee to pick us up in their bus, and drive us down to the Dead Sea for a day with them.  I went in shirt-sleeves to the arranged pick-up point.  While waiting it was a bit cold, so I took my coloured towel from my bag and wrapped it around my head and shoulders.  There was this bearded fellow, standing in a busy road in Jerusalem, looking like I don’t know what.  People were smiling, laughing, waving, honking their car horns.  I think they thought I had dressed for Purim.

Hashkama: 19th October 2016: The Way forward

How can we know the way forward?  Thomas said. “Lord, we do not know where you are going.”  The way forward is into the acknowledged presence of the Father.  Jesus described Himself as The Way and The Truth and The Life (John 14:5-6).  By His Spirit, Jesus leads those that are willing (John 7:16-17) into the presence of the Father.  This is the journey for which Foundations has girded up.

Oppression and Freedom

Hashkama: 6th July 2016: As it was in the Days of Noah

Our title might be intimidating for some, provocative for others, and because we think we are such an enlightened generation, it will perhaps be insulting to others because it speaks of a world full of violence, wickedness, and God’s judgment.  Then there are those that are not ashamed of being Christians and who read their bibles and worship God in the beauty of His holiness.

Hashkama: 29th June 2016: Britain’s Children Face the Fires of Hell on Earth

In this modern world with all its technological advantages and rise in knowledge, children are at the greatest disadvantage. It was interesting in the June Referendum on the EU how politicians pitted the young against the elderly, using words to drive a wedge between the elderly (the grey vote) and our young people; turning the hearts of the children against the fathers. An accusing question came from various quarters asking why the elderly should be choosing the direction Britain takes when it will affect the young most of all.

Hashkama: 15th June 2016: Despising the Birthright

The Hebrew word, ‘birthright’ (bᵉḵôrâh) designates the legal right of the firstborn son of the family to a double portion of what each child would inherit and to other rights that belong to the firstborn, as we discover in the Book of Genesis.  Sometimes this word is used to designate the firstborn of flocks or herds (Genesis4:4; Deuteronomy 12:6, 17; 14:23; Nehemiah 10:36).  Where it indicates the birthright, or right of the firstborn is found in other passages (Genesis 25:31-34; 27:36; 43:33; Deuteronomy 21:17; 1 Chronicles5:1-2).

Hashkama: 25th May 2016: The Blind Shall See (part 1)

During a stay in Israel we visited one of the Emmaus sites.  It was amazing to stand among the ruins there and to imagine the long walk the two disciples had from Jerusalem.  On the way they communed and reasoned with one another.  It was during this time that the risen Yeshua/Jesus drew near and walked with them.  In the KJV it says in Luke 24:16, “But their eyes were holden that they should not know Him.”  In the NIV it says: “But they were kept from recognising Him.”

Hashkama: 11th May 2016: Send the Fire!

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

Jeremiah was speaking about the source of Judah’s problem…Judah’s heart.  We might consider today why in the world has mankind taken a course to self-destruction?  Man’s wisdom is man’s folly.  While we might puzzle over the decisions world leaders are taking, and the direction they are leading the nations along, God informs Jeremiah that He alone understands the human heart.  He alone has the ability to search the heart and test the mind.  He knows our innermost thoughts and motives.  The things that are hidden from others are not hidden from God; He sees right through us.  God doesn’t try to cure the people’s hearts; He is in the removal business.  He removes their heart of stone, and He gives them a new heart and puts a new spirit within them (Ezekiel 36:26-27; 11:19).

Jeremiah went on to contrast the foolishness of trusting in wealth or human wisdom with the wisdom of trusting in the Lord.  It is a message for today!